A Yorkshire-based bag company has committed to donating 25% of all profits back to its suppliers in India as the country struggles amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Carol Pinder, Founder of Beaumont Bags, has been in constant contact with her suppliers, who she regards as close friends, since the outbreak began back in March.
Lokesh, one of the company’s suppliers, owns a leather handicraft shop in Rajasthan. He explained how the area relies on tourists for roughly 80% of its economy and with none visiting since March and the amount of coronavirus cases still on the rise, the future looks uncertain.
India is currently struggling to control the pandemic, with many of its 1.3 billion population living in densely crowded areas and well below the poverty line. The healthcare system is already insubstantial and it is now overwhelmed with the daily volume of new cases, which is almost reaching 60,000 each day.
Lokesh described his situation to Carol, saying: “We don’t know when Coronavirus will end or when tourists will come back so we’re really scared for our future. I live with my joint family and there are eight of us in total in the house.
“For the last 4 months, money has only been going out, nothing has been coming in and there are no sources to earn money. Workmanship has stopped and people have nothing now, some with no money for food even.”
At the start of August, more than 1.8 million cases of coronavirus and almost 39,000 deaths had been confirmed in India. The country is the second worst-affected after the USA, despite it being 3 times smaller in size.
Speaking of her desire to help, Carol Pinder said: “I desperately want to help Lokesh and his family and the only way I know how to is for me to continue to sell their bags. However, it’s proving difficult with the weekend fairs I normally attend all being cancelled so I’m having to focus on my online sales instead.
“If you’re buying a gift for a loved one or just fancy treating yourself to a new leather bag, please bear Beaumont Bags in mind. Not only will you receive a beautiful handcrafted product, but you’ll be doing some good and supporting someone who needs a helping hand more than ever.”
The company hopes to clear its online stock so that it can put in a new order for more bags to be made, thus creating work and generating income for its suppliers.
The bags are made from goat skin, each unique and take on their own personality. They are naturally tanned with no harmful chemicals, then oiled to give a distressed look, before being laid out to soak up the Indian sun.
Carol first came across the leather bags when making her way through India on holiday with friends in 2012. Visiting the shop several times whilst in the area, Carol and Lokesh became firm friends and she then decided to sell them back in the UK, believing that everyone should have the chance to purchase such high-quality bags.
Since their business relationship and subsequent friendship began, Lokesh has been able to buy a house, become a father and get married – a wedding which Carol was honoured to be invited to attend.